Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Musing: You can't legislate prosperity. Bet on it!

One of the hot button issues year in and year out in Ohio is legalized gambling. Casinos and slots have been on the ballot and been turned down several times. I believe that Ohio voters have made the correct decision. I am opposed to gambling on moral grounds and cannot see much good come from it.

WTAM afternoon personality Mike Trivisonno is fond of saying that people don't have a gambling problem, they have a losing problem. In some ways, I have to agree with him. They lose tons of money, they lose self respect, they sometimes lose their families, etc. Not to mention that there are much larger percentages of bankruptcies in counties where there are casinos.

When the Ohio Lottery was launched in 1974, education was to be the main beneficiary of the profits. I have been told by one of my teacher friends that state funding for education has been worse since 1974 because when the state budget was written, there was an estimate as to how much the education allotment would be from the lottery, then that amount was removed from what the state would allocate from the general fund for the schools. Now that we have Mega Millions and those large jackpots, education still doesn't get much. But the lottery commission is quick to tell us how much education has gotten. If the state could match that, maybe it would make a difference. Don't sell us on legalized gambling, tell us it's going to benefit education, then have the schools in such bad shape where they have to continually go to the voters for levies.

Another problem is these big money games bring out the worst in people. Ohio went for quite a long time before we had a major jackpot winner in Mega Millions. The first jackpot winner from the buckeye state won about 165 million. She didn't come forward for several days. What prompted her to come forward was someone seeking to defraud the lottery by saying that she had the winning ticket, but it blew out of her hand in the parking lot of the convenience store which sold the ticket. The person who bought the ticket then came forward and the lottery commission debunked the story of the other lady. But to show you how some people are, she was interviewed on the radio and the host of the show heaped praise on her for what she did. Just goes to show that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Financial guru, Dave Ramsey has said that the lottery is a tax on the poor and those who can't do math. Also the majority of big lottery jackpot winners file bankruptcy within ten years. I guess all the new friends and long lost family members they become associated with cost money.

And if people don't have gambling problems, why is there Gamblers Anonymous?

8 comments:

Pat Jenkins said...

the unfortunate thing wixy is that the buckeye state has gambled with the budget leaving them with the same "sin" as a way to try and save themselves and us!!

Ms Hen said...

(hugs)

Ben said...

There's still a big push to get casinos in Ohio. My wife got called today by some outfit polling people about casinos, asking if they are for it and, according to my wife, sorta skewing the question to get folks to comment in favor of it under some circumstances. She stood her ground. I agree it's a regressive tax, there are better ways to raise revenues if needed, and quite frankly, I don't get the appeal of a 1 in a zillion shot at unearned wealth.

david5258 said...

amazing how our beloved governor now thinks its OK for 18 year olds to gamble and play slots just cuz they're old enough to die as a soldier. same governor who earlier called gambling an addiction.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

as a teacher for decades i have never been aware of any benefits of the lottery. i agree it preys on the poor and so will gambling.

Anonymous said...

Yes lets oppose gambling and prevent more jobs from coming into the state that makes total sense. Yes lets also oppose it on moral grounds and let those same people that always gamble just keep driving to PA,Indiana,WV and Michigan to give their gambling money to them. And we wonder why this state is in the shape its in. Moral grounds what a joke. The churches that oppose it on "moral grounds" are the same ones to have Vegas nights and casino nights.

74WIXYgrad said...

I appreciate any comments here, no matter what the view. I would appreciate it more if you could leave some clue as to your identity.

And there surely are better ways to bring some needed revenue into the state than gambling.

Dave said...

There are plenty of ways to bring revenue into the state gambling is just a start. You are not going to legislate morality when it comes to gambling. People are just going to take the money they would spend in Ohio and take it to another state. Gambling is not the be all end all but its a start. We already have many forms of gambling. Lottery, Horse tracks, Keno, Bingo, Vegas and casino nights at churches all over the state. Lets be realistic. Let the gamblers spend their money in our state.